SB Marketplace
SB Marketplace
SB Marketplace
We Gotta Have It!

Literature Last Updated: Aug 18th, 2014 - 23:54:36

Two Real Soul Brothers
A tribute to Two Real Soul Brothers: Vincent Harding & Sam Greenlee. "It is no small thing to choose to be voices for justice and life-long critics of injustice, no small thing to have created a masterpiece in words or a compelling film that speaks across time from history to present chaos with an unapologetic demand for revolution."
By Stephanie Dunn

Jul 6, 2014, 15:51

Angelou As Freedom Fighter
Maya Angelou with Malcolm X.
Society often forgets her legacy as a fierce civil rights activist, and someone who did not shy away from political controversy. Writing in, Carimah Townes lists five facts about about Maya Angelou, the freedom fighter.

Jul 5, 2014, 16:33

Baraka's World Children
Baraka’s world (and word) children, have a sworn pact with our tongues, pens, keyboards to tell the true story of not only our killing but of our beauty, triumph and ability to win.
By Esther Iverem

Jan 17, 2014, 08:53

Poetry For The 99 Percent!
June Jordan, photo by Lynda Koolish
The Split This Rock Poetry Festival: Poems of Provocation & Witness invites poets, writers, activists, and dreamers to Washington, DC, March 22-25, 2012, for four days of poetry, community building, and creative transformation. This year's festival celebrates the life and work of poet-essayist-teacher-activist June Jordan on the 10th anniversary of her death and will also feature Alice Walker.

Feb 20, 2012, 16:03

REVIEW: Marable on Malcolm
Marable must be judged by what he says, not by what others say he “intended.” The best thing about the book, of course, is that it raises Malcolm X to the height of our conversation again, and this is a very good thing in this Obama election period. (Post racial it ain’t!)...Ultimately, it is Marable’s own political line that renders the book weakened.
By Amiri Baraka

May 13, 2011, 11:28

Time To Write
Lorene Carey
Author Lorene Cary writes about the process of creating her new novel, If Sons, Then Heirs. Now, Cary says, "it feels as if the stories force their way into books. They wait, like tiny shelled creatures, until marriage and children, business, grief, failure, and love soften me into a suitable environment for their expression. Then it’s time to write."

Apr 26, 2011, 23:53

Poetry: No Back Door
In his book No Back Door, Mervyn Taylor maintains a visceral connection to his many characters. Carnival participants loom large, as well as Brooklyn denizens.
By Ruth-Miriam Garnett

Feb 22, 2011, 12:30

Plays By Sanchez
Sonia Sanchez addresses issues of sexism and survival in a book of plays that can best be described as poetic fire infused with hope for Black people in �this place called America.�
By Natalie Maxwell

Jan 20, 2011, 12:37

Fighting Neo-Confederacy
SB ON THE RADIO! Since March of this year, Esther Iverem has co-produced and co-hosted "What's At Stake" with Verna Avery-Brown on WPFW Pacifica Radio in Washington D.C. This new, regular feature will link's readers to these shows that, for now, are archived for only two weeks after broadcast. Available until September 22, 2010: A discussion on the economy featuring Bill Fletcher; An interview with Hall of Fame football player Mile Haynes about his victory over prostate cancer and an interview with author James Loewen about his new book, The Confederate and Neo-Confederate Reader: The Great Truth about the Lost Cause. You can also tune in live on Wednesday mornings, 10-11a EST.

Sep 13, 2010, 16:59

Marshall's Triangular Road
Paule Marshall delivers a revealing and often funny memoir about her emergence as a young writer.
By Sidik Fofana

Aug 27, 2010, 12:29

Scholars on the Mic
In Born to Use Mics, editors Michael Eric Dyson and Sohail Daulatzai assemble top hip-hop scholars to dissect Nas's Illmatic into its cultural, political, literary and global components.
By Sidik Fofana

Apr 8, 2010, 12:58

Poems of Provocation
The Split This Rock Poetry Festival is happening now through March 13, 2010. The festival in Washington, D.C. features readings, workshops, panel discussions, youth programming, film, activism, opportunities to speak out for social justice, imagine a way forward, and celebrate the many ways that poetry can act as an agent for social change.

Feb 22, 2010, 11:16

Lucille Clifton (1936-2010)
Lucille Clifton
A memorial poem by Ruth-Miriam Garnett and six of Lucille Clifton's poems: blessing the boats, sorrow song, jasper texas 1998, wishes for sons, my dream about being white and mulberry fields.

Feb 17, 2010, 14:16

SB's Best Books of 2009
This year,I gleaned and digested tons of books. Oh how many worlds I traveled! In the end, some journeys were more memorable than others, and so I salute those journeys with a cozy place on my list of the year's most notable books.
By Sidik Fofana

Dec 30, 2009, 12:46

Monk As a Rock Star?
How Columbia Records tried to make Thelonious Monk a rock star...and failed. Adapted from Robin D. G. Kelley, Thelonious Monk: The Life and Times of an American Original (New York: The Free Press, 2009)
By Robin D.G. Kelley

Nov 20, 2009, 12:47

LaValle's Big Machine
Big Machine, Victor LaValle's first novel in seven years, dives off the familiar plank of African-American fiction to where hardened Queens dwellers meet underground mutants.
By Sidik Fofana

Nov 5, 2009, 12:04

Children of Children...
Featured here is an excerpt from The Children of Children Keep Coming: An Epic Griotsong By Russell Goings (Simon & Schuster). With images by Romare Bearden.

Oct 27, 2009, 10:32

Cornel West's New Memoir
Cornel West
Cornel West, professor of religion and African American studies at Princeton University and the author of numerous books on race, has just published his memoir, Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud. In this interview, he discusses his death scare, his controversial exit from Harvard, Larry Summers and his own run-in with the Cambridge police.

Oct 15, 2009, 13:51

Barack Like Me
In this excerpt from his new book, Barack Like Me, comedian David Alan Grier explores the notion that Barack Obama is, officially, our first real-life magical Negro.

Oct 6, 2009, 11:05

The Many Shades of Africa
The new literary anthology Gods and Soldiers shows that Africa may be too big to compartmentalize, although it’s not too scattered to hold certain trends.
By Sidik Fofana

Sep 8, 2009, 13:23

Black to the Beach
In Colson Whitehead's new novel, Sag Harbor, middle class Black teens on summer break try to figure out how to be.
By Sidik Fofana

Aug 27, 2009, 14:47

The Demise of VIBE
With diminishing resources available for thoughtful and accessible criticism, mainstream Black cultural critics exist as little more than commentators on the Obama White House and complainers about Black Entertainment Television. Blackness is shaped to fit the 24-hour news cycle.
By Mark Anthony Neal

Jul 19, 2009, 21:48

Summer Reading’s Annual Summer Reading List 2009: Here are eight recently published books chosen by contributing critic, Sidik Fofana, for the summer time. So grab your sunbrella, shades and perch on the sand because these books are guaranteed to give you a good read!

Jul 13, 2009, 17:45

Subway: After the Irish
An excerpt from Subway: After the Irish, a book by Horace Mungin, a former employee for the New York City Transit Authority. Chapter Three: 'Motorman, Run That Dog Over.'

Apr 10, 2009, 07:20

SB Blogs

Between the Lines


The Declined Soul

Droppin Science

From the Ramparts

Healers of Color

Seeing Black

SB Sports Talk

Special Updates

Talkback Tuesdays

Giveaway Wednesdays

Send Letters to
Heart to Heart!

We welcome new writers, bloggers and ideas for clubs. Contact us and send ideas and writing samples.

We Gotta Have It
Order Esther Iverem’s We Gotta Have It: Twenty Years of Seeing Black at the Movies. 1986-2006. An essential overview of the “New Wave” in Black cinema—a complex, often surprising perspective on art, society, and history.  More than 400 reviews, plus essays and interviews from your favorite movie critic.

Early raves for We Gotta Have It:

"Esther Iverem brings a voice that is deft, insightful and good-humored to the subject of African American culture."
      --Tavis Smiley

"Esther Iverem… is, hands down, one the smartest cultural critics of her generation. This wonderful romp through the last two decades of black-subject films will have you visiting your local video store on the regular.  It’s one of those book we gotta have."
      --Robin D. G. Kelley

"The work of African American filmmakers continues to out pace critiques and commentary by African American film critics. Esther Iverem closes this gap.
      --Warrington Hudlin

Other Ways to support

  • Donate or buy an ad for your business or organization

  • Make your online holiday purchases, (and purchases throughout the year) through the Amazon Store

  • Click here to make your default homepage!

  • If you don't get our free newsletter, subscribe today!

  • Visit early and often

  • Tell your friends to visit early and often
Latest Headlines
The 411
What is Race and Racism?
Fighting the Power
Vigils and Action for Justice
African Diaspora Films
'Anita' Speaks Truth to Power
Not That Long Ago...
A Genius and Innovator
Top Jazz Picks
After The Dance...
Visual Arts
'Emancipation' Events
Meditations on Freedom
Catlett, Peaston, Neruda
Life and Abortion
Buppies On Stage
Two Real Soul Brothers
Angelou As Freedom Fighter
Baraka's World Children
Stand Our Ground
Our Hair is Unprofessional?
On 'Identity Politics'
"Ain’t I a Champion?"
Serena And The Hate(rs)
PSU Case Unmasks The NCAA
Heart to Heart is Back!
Notes from the #ProfGrind
Thurgood Marshall's Faith
Apartheid in Israel
The Pope Slams Capitalism
The Mandela Legacy
A Black Parent's Confession
Checklist For Having a Baby
The Myth of Black Male Privilege?